Wedding Party

Thinking of backing out...and feeling horrible.

edited September 2014 in Wedding Party
In the spring, my friend asked me to be his woman-of-honor in his wedding. Without hesitating (and without discussing with my significant other), I said YES!! very excitedly, wanting to support him. Then, I realized, it was a New Year's Eve wedding. and was 1000+ miles away, across the country, not near any airport. Awkwardly, a few months ago, I was already given some jewelry as thank you for being in the wedding. I have already gotten an awesome dress for super cheap (YES!). We are now 3 months away from the wedding, and the reality of the cost of this whole ordeal is adding up. Between plane tickets, hotel, car rental, dog boarding, food, wedding gift, etc.. .it's going to be approximately $2600 (if I go sans car and try to hitch rides, it'll knock down to about $2100).

I'm a fiercely loyal friend, and feel totally sick that I am considering backing out... but I am not sure how I can afford this. To add to the "fun," I have since become engaged, and now have my own wedding and honeymoon and moving in together to pay for.

Sigh. I don't know what to do. All signs are pointing to me needing to back out, but I don't want to let anyone down. I feel like the worst friend of the year.
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Re: Thinking of backing out...and feeling horrible.

  • Robyn5298Robyn5298
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    member
    edited September 2014
    Congratulations on your engagement! However, eep! Sounds like you're in a tight spot.

    Obviously this person is a very close friend, or you wouldn't have been given the woman-of-honor role. Why not pick up the phone and have a heart to heart with him? Explain the situation and how you're having a hard time making things work financially.

    He may have some suggestions on how to make this easier for you. Maybe he knows of a couch you can crash on to save on hotel costs. Maybe he has some frequent flyer miles he'd be happy to send your way reducing the cost of a flight. Maybe he'll say, "Oh don't be silly, you don't have to get me a gift!" But you'll never know until you talk to him.

    If you really want to attend this wedding, I think you owe your friend a phone call to discuss your concerns before backing out. However, if deep down you just really don't want to go, you still owe him a phone call. He will be disappointed for sure, but if you handle this gracefully your friendship needn't suffer. 

    Good luck!
    image
    agenevieve22016
  • So you aren't attending at all then? I would move heaven and earth to keep a commitment. 
    atlastmrsg
  • This is a tough scenario and I totally understand where you are coming from. I was a BM semi-recently and had the same concerns. I loved my friend dearly but between flights, boarding my dog, the dress, the gift, hotel, transportation, etc. it started adding up quickly. I was also starting to plan my own wedding (and having sticker shock over that). At one point I did think to myself "Should I still do this? Can I honestly afford it?" But I knew that I wanted to be there for my friend. I had to charge the plane tickets & pay them off afterwards but I made sure to be there & I was glad that I made that decision. I never complained to her but the bride knew that it was going to be a lot for me and she made things as easy as she possibly could (she picked me up from the airport, had me stay with her & her FI the night before the wedding, and drove me and my FI back to the airport the day after the wedding). I would say have an honest conversation with your friend because as others have said, how would you feel if roles were reversed? When the time comes for your wedding, what would you want your MOH to do if he/she was having these same thoughts? Do that. 

    Also good luck! & congrats on your engagement! 
    image
  • I think you need to make some sacrifices to go.  Maybe you won't get to go on vacation this year, buy (fill in the blank), or maybe there won't be any more eating out/going out to drinks between now and his wedding.  You committed that you'd do this and he's counting on you.  

    How would you feel if someone did that to you?  You'd be really hurt.  It's not his fault you didn't think the commitment through when you accepted, then waited six months to have a reality check.

    And you know, whether it's true or not, it'll make it look like it's because you want to save money and effort for your own wedding.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • You should feel horrible if you back out. You aren't dying you just didn't manage your own budget terribly well. Spend less money on your own wedding and honeymoon because you've already committed to this.
    PrettyGirlLostatlastmrsgBrandNewJ
  • Thanks for the feedback.   I can see how this can make me look like a total a-hole, as many of you seem to be implying.  

    Here's the reality:  I have zero debt and don't plan to start now.   I'm a working professional who manages my money and lives within my own means.   I spreadsheet out my life and so for those interested here's what it comes down to...

    I didn't know/realize that plane tickets during that time would cost so much. That isn't me being a jerk. That's the economy.   Plane tickets are at $1400, hotel is $240 (it's in the middle of no where and I've been told I have to stay 2 nights), I am fairly new to where I live, so I have no one to watch my dog, so that's another $150-ish, food while traveling would be $100-200, wedding gift $100, car rental (if i have zero other options is $260 for only two days (holiday rental time = screwed) + gas to from/middle of no where $100,minimum, my dress amazingly was only $56 on a super awesome sale.  

    For those indicating that I'm selfish and plan on spending tons of money on my own wedding.  Hi. Nice to meet you. Let me tell you about my wedding plans.  1) I will not have any attendants at my wedding   2) My wedding will be very simple - no big white dress, no aisle to walk down, no table decorations.... My fiancé and aren't into all of that.  We plan on making it special somewhere outdoors, with just parents and siblings, and if any of our friends are able to attend, great.. .if not, no hard feelings as we understand life is expensive.   we  may or may not have a party after the fact...at our home to celebrate.  

    Why are we not doing all of those things for our own wedding?  It's excessive and unnecessary.  

    I regret posting to this board.  For those of you offering solid advice, thank you.  I am taking this decision seriously and am trying to weigh out every way that I can cut corners.   Would you want to be away from your fiancé on new year's eve though?  Not going is the last thing I want to do, but I'm realistic that this is super expensive.  Not going would not only mean letting down a friend and defying the commitment I made, but also missing Christmas completely with my family, forgoing christmas presents for anyone, forgoing any vacations for the next year, etc.    This trip would cost more than my cross country move two years ago.    I'm taking all of this very seriously.   While I am trying to "hurry" and make a decision, I want to make the right decision.  Wouldn't YOU want someone in the same situation to do that for you, rather than being impulsive? 

    I'm definitely going to call him and talk about it.  Once I hash through all of my options.  
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod

    No one called  you an asshole. We are trying to suggest options.

    Would I want to spend NYE without my husband? No, but if I made a commitment, I would honor it. You can celebrate NY another night. NYE isn't a one time event, you will have many NYEs together.

    PP is right. High air fares, especially during the holidays, shouldn't be such a big surprise. The first thing I do when I'm planning a trip is check the fares. When I find what I think will be the best deal, I charge it to my credit card and pay it off asap.

    I hope you're able to work something out so you can be there for your friend. If you can't, you can't. But I would only back out, as a last resort.




                
    STARMOON44atlastmrsg
  • That is a big expense, but maybe there are ways to trim it. Can you fly stand-by? Can you share a car rental and hotel room? I have good luck with the name your own price car rental thing on priceline, you might be able to score a deal that way. Skip a gift and give a nice card. Gifts are not necessary and I can't imagine anyone would expect a guest spend so much on travel and then expect a gift on top of that. Or give a small, thoughtful boxed gift instead of cash or something from the registry.
    image
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    I've always gotten good deals on car rentals through Hotwire. You don't know the car rental company before hand and you pre-pay. But the rates have always been good. I agree with PP. Try to find a way to make this work.

  • Your plane ticket is $1,400?!?! Give me airport codes and I will find you a better deal. Seriously, I will look for you.

    Tell him you can only stay one night and that you can't be at the rehearsal/RD due to hotel affordability. Carpool with other people - ask your friend if you need help finding people - to save on the car. Pay a neighbor kid to watch your dog.

    Look. The bottom line is that you've had several months to figure this out, book a plane ticket at a better price, etc. You didn't do it then and you didn't budget correctly so you could do it now. You can make this work, but you would need to make sacrifices. The choice is yours. You made a commitment to this person and you should follow through.

    I know you regret posting it here, but you need to hear perspectives that people (your friend in particular) will feel/talk about and not say to your face. Hopefully that's valuable enough to give you some direction on this. None of us know you so there's no reason to be embarrassed. Shit happens, but you can definitely make this work if you want to.
    No, $1400 for two plane tickets.   My fiancé, and me.  I'm well traveled and I know how to find deals.  There are no direct flights from here to there.  I have been looking weekly for months.  They have not gone down at all.  They range from $550-750-ish a piece.   Obviously, an option can be to go alone, although not ideal.  


    There isn't anyone else that I know going to the wedding, and therefore no one to share a room with or carpool with.   Trust me, I've been looking.  I didn't just wake up this week and say screw it - i'm not going.  I've been researching this for weeks/months.  Trying to figure out how to make it work.  Trying to find the best deals.   

    I want to clarify - my regret is not about embarrassment.  I'm not embarrassed.  My regret is that many of you are trying to come off as honest, but really, you're just assuming a lot of things and being pretty harsh.  

  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    member
    No, $1400 for two plane tickets.   My fiancé, and me.  I'm well traveled and I know how to find deals.  There are no direct flights from here to there.  I have been looking weekly for months.  They have not gone down at all.  They range from $550-750-ish a piece.   Obviously, an option can be to go alone, although not ideal.  

    There isn't anyone else that I know going to the wedding, and therefore no one to share a room with or carpool with.   Trust me, I've been looking.  I didn't just wake up this week and say screw it - i'm not going.  I've been researching this for weeks/months.  Trying to figure out how to make it work.  Trying to find the best deals.   

    I want to clarify - my regret is not about embarrassment.  I'm not embarrassed.  My regret is that many of you are trying to come off as honest, but really, you're just assuming a lot of things and being pretty harsh.  
    In all fairness, it's pretty harsh to drop out of your friend's wedding at the last minute when you've already committed. So I think the reactions are due to that.   This.

    If you are well traveled, can you use frequent flyer miles? 

    If you can't afford for both of you to go, then you should go by yourself. That will save you $750 on the flight (at the top end) and your fiance would be home to watch your dog, so you saved another $150 right there. And if you only stay one night, that's another $120.

    With those three changes, you just saved $1,020. 

    I think the bottom line is that if you want to make this work, there are ways to do it. You just have to want to follow through on your commitment. Your friend is going to be crushed and probably really resentful if you back out this late in the game. I guess the question is what amount of money would you pay to save the friendship?  And this.
    Flights to no where are expensive.  FI and I spend $1000 for plane tickets to an OOT wedding last year and then again this year.

    However, I don't understand why, after accepting to be in the wedding, you didn't sit down and stat figuring out what the costs would entail?  And why did you wait until 3 months out to decide you couldn't afford it?

    I think these are the things people are responding to so bluntly and honestly, because at this point backing out of his wedding because you didn't financially prepare properly is a shitty thing to do.  That's the truth of the matter, whether you like that truth or not.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    STARMOON44atlastmrsg

  • scribe95 said:
    People have given you ways to save upwards of $1,000 and still keep your commitment. You are making excuses now.
    Not making excuses.  Thank you to all of you for giving me ideas for savings. 
  • I honestly understand your situation and sympathize with you.  My best friend is getting married in Disney World and I'm the Matron of Honor.  It's a big expense, given the flight, the hotel, the dress, etc..  But the reality is, I've known about it for a while.  I've had time to save.  And so did you.  You can't expect others to condone you backing out when you've had time to figure this out.

    Honestly, I think you're going to either have to put it on a credit card (not the worst thing in the world, btw) or go alone.  Maybe both.  Regardless, none of the suggestions that others have mentioned are THAT big of a deal.  You can spend 1-2 nights without your FI (yes, even NYE).  It's not preferable, but you're going to feel a lot less shitty if you just suck it up and go.  I promise you, you will regret not going.   

    atlastmrsgPrettyGirlLostashley8918
  • I just called him and everything is fully out in the open. We have a plan. 
    MairePoppyPrettyGirlLostOliveOilsMommellyD2014
  • I just called him and everything is fully out in the open. We have a plan. 

    Great! what did you end up deciding?
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    PrettyGirlLost
  • I'm glad you talked to him openly. Maybe he can help make it work. And btw, so you don't think we are crazy heartless people I was once in a Disney wedding where I knew only the bride and groom and ended up going by myself and spending a decent amount of money. But I had a blast!





  • Your plane ticket is $1,400?!?! Give me airport codes and I will find you a better deal. Seriously, I will look for you.

    Tell him you can only stay one night and that you can't be at the rehearsal/RD due to hotel affordability. Carpool with other people - ask your friend if you need help finding people - to save on the car. Pay a neighbor kid to watch your dog.

    Look. The bottom line is that you've had several months to figure this out, book a plane ticket at a better price, etc. You didn't do it then and you didn't budget correctly so you could do it now. You can make this work, but you would need to make sacrifices. The choice is yours. You made a commitment to this person and you should follow through.

    I know you regret posting it here, but you need to hear perspectives that people (your friend in particular) will feel/talk about and not say to your face. Hopefully that's valuable enough to give you some direction on this. None of us know you so there's no reason to be embarrassed. Shit happens, but you can definitely make this work if you want to.

    No, $1400 for two plane tickets.   My fiancé, and me.  I'm well traveled and I know how to find deals.  There are no direct flights from here to there.  I have been looking weekly for months.  They have not gone down at all.  They range from $550-750-ish a piece.   Obviously, an option can be to go alone, although not ideal.  


    There isn't anyone else that I know going to the wedding, and therefore no one to share a room with or carpool with.   Trust me, I've been looking.  I didn't just wake up this week and say screw it - i'm not going.  I've been researching this for weeks/months.  Trying to figure out how to make it work.  Trying to find the best deals.   

    I want to clarify - my regret is not about embarrassment.  I'm not embarrassed.  My regret is that many of you are trying to come off as honest, but really, you're just assuming a lot of things and being pretty harsh.  



    Going by yourself is a pretty easy way to save money too. Will you be a little less happy? Yes. Will you be better for showing up? Absolutely.

    And you waiting so long is part of the reason plane tickets are so expensive. Is there a particular reason you didn't get plane tickets right around when you accepted?

    To put this in perspective. Some of FHs family, who's daughter was supposed to be a flower girl put off buying plane tickets and they jumped and then they all backed out pretty last minute. He is ridiculously hurt that their poor planning has made them back out.

    The number one comment that people have in response to hearing about this has been "When you accept being in a wedding, you accept the financial responsibility. Don't people realize this?" Other members of his family are hard core judging. Not because they could not afford it. But because they basically said they could by accepting, than because of poor planning, went back on their word.
  • scribe95 said:
    I'm glad you talked to him openly. Maybe he can help make it work. And btw, so you don't think we are crazy heartless people I was once in a Disney wedding where I knew only the bride and groom and ended up going by myself and spending a decent amount of money. But I had a blast!
    It is Disney... how could you not have a blast?
    August 9, 2015
  • Yeah, I am not a Disney person. So that was not a selling point for me :)
    PrettyGirlLostKaurisTeddiD34

  • Your plane ticket is $1,400?!?! Give me airport codes and I will find you a better deal. Seriously, I will look for you.

    Tell him you can only stay one night and that you can't be at the rehearsal/RD due to hotel affordability. Carpool with other people - ask your friend if you need help finding people - to save on the car. Pay a neighbor kid to watch your dog.

    Look. The bottom line is that you've had several months to figure this out, book a plane ticket at a better price, etc. You didn't do it then and you didn't budget correctly so you could do it now. You can make this work, but you would need to make sacrifices. The choice is yours. You made a commitment to this person and you should follow through.

    I know you regret posting it here, but you need to hear perspectives that people (your friend in particular) will feel/talk about and not say to your face. Hopefully that's valuable enough to give you some direction on this. None of us know you so there's no reason to be embarrassed. Shit happens, but you can definitely make this work if you want to.
    No, $1400 for two plane tickets.   My fiancé, and me.  I'm well traveled and I know how to find deals.  There are no direct flights from here to there.  I have been looking weekly for months.  They have not gone down at all.  They range from $550-750-ish a piece.   Obviously, an option can be to go alone, although not ideal.  


    There isn't anyone else that I know going to the wedding, and therefore no one to share a room with or carpool with.   Trust me, I've been looking.  I didn't just wake up this week and say screw it - i'm not going.  I've been researching this for weeks/months.  Trying to figure out how to make it work.  Trying to find the best deals.   

    I want to clarify - my regret is not about embarrassment.  I'm not embarrassed.  My regret is that many of you are trying to come off as honest, but really, you're just assuming a lot of things and being pretty harsh.  


    **Eek, stuck in the box**

    People on the internet are going to come off harsh on this. They will not coddle you. 

    It's certainly understandable to take finances into account when you make a decision to be in a WP or not. It's generally an expensive undertaking to travel to and be in a wedding. 

    But the thing is, you committed, and you have confessed that you need to save money for your own wedding.

    In this case I would recommend making it work, perhaps that means going alone. It's not as fun but it's a way to uphold your commitment. I'm sure you've looked at a lot of deals but I might also recommend Air BnB and Hotel Tonight (the second one you can't book until later), or even look to see if there are any hostels in the area. We have a killer hostel in my city that is actually nicer than a lot of hotels and is super cheap. 

    Think about how backing out now will make your friend feel and what it will do to your friendship, especially this close to the wedding. If my MOH backed out on me three months before my wedding because she was recently engaged and wanted to save for her own wedding, it would read as a friendship ending move. Period. 

    A lot of bride's come on these boards and ask if they should "fire" a WP member. The unanimous response is, do it at your peril and be prepared for the friendship to end. This is the same but in reverse. If a friend backed out of being a WP member within a few months of the wedding due to the reasons you described I would assume I no longer had importance in their life. It would be different if they backed out due to health concerns, losing a job, etc., but if it was flat out to save money for their own wedding I would be offended and hurt. 

    Do what you want but understand that people are trying to warn you of the potential consequences. 
    image
  • edited June 2015

    I'm out.
    KatieinBklnashley8918cowgirl8238
  • Alright, I'm just weighing in here to say that...I'm really disappointed with all these responses.

    FFS..you guys PREACH that nobody cares about your wedding as much as you do. You preach to brides to not fire their attendants because they can't afford it. How is this any different?

    It seems to me that OP didn't know this wedding was going to be so far away, and on NYE when she committed.

    And honestly, telling her to spend NYE away from her FI is just really not called for.

    OP, I'm sorry for your situation. Hope you work it out!
    To the bolded - This is different because the OP knew the date and location of this wedding for a long time and committed anyway. She didn't plan adequately and is now freaking out that she's Best Woman in a few months and can't figure out how to make it work financially. 

    Thus, everyone's response was basically "you made a commitment to your best friend, you didn't plan well enough to make it work for both you and your FI to go, so now you might have to make sacrifices."
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Alright, I'm just weighing in here to say that...I'm really disappointed with all these responses.

    FFS..you guys PREACH that nobody cares about your wedding as much as you do. You preach to brides to not fire their attendants because they can't afford it. How is this any different?

    It seems to me that OP didn't know this wedding was going to be so far away, and on NYE when she committed.

    And honestly, telling her to spend NYE away from her FI is just really not called for.

    OP, I'm sorry for your situation. Hope you work it out!
    To the bolded - This is different because the OP knew the date and location of this wedding for a long time and committed anyway. She didn't plan adequately and is now freaking out that she's Best Woman in a few months and can't figure out how to make it work financially. 

    Thus, everyone's response was basically "you made a commitment to your best friend, you didn't plan well enough to make it work for both you and your FI to go, so now you might have to make sacrifices."
    She only knew that it was a 1000 miles away and a NYE wedding after she said yes. The couple could have checked with her, since i'm pretty sure woman of honor is a VIP, if this would be okay. Now yes, maybe she should have said something sooner but I can understand not wanting to upset her friend. She's also stated how long she's been looking for flights and trying to make it work.
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